obak­eng slaps glo­ria (who won’t leave him!)

glo­ria’s abuse night­mare doesn’t end with a wake-up slap…

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w e’ve been watch­ing con­trol­ling obak­eng (peter moru­ak­gomo) be­lit­tling his wife glo­ria (mar­jorie langa) since mid-novem­ber, won­der­ing when they’re go­ing to wake up and re­alise that their mar­riage’s turned toxic.

guilt stricken, glo­ria’s let obak­eng get away with bul­ly­ing since she’s been up to no good be­hind his back, like trick­ing her ex into giv­ing her the money she spent on obak­eng’s party in novem­ber. she’s fully aware that she’s not the per­fect wife. “he ex­pects her to be sub­mis­sive and loyal, but most of all, to al­ways do what he thinks is right,” says peter. who knows what’ll hap­pen if he finds out that glo­ria’s been go­ing be­hind his back to block the sale of her house since wed­nes­day 3 de­cem­ber! so glo­ria hasn’t seen how much obak­eng has been tight­en­ing his fist – un­til he slaps her on wed­nes­day 10 de­cem­ber. then her eyes are wide open. “as light as it may be, i think only when it’s phys­i­cal that it de­fines abuse to her,” says mar­jorie.

after that slap

but don’t ex­pect glo­ria to draw the line at obak­eng slap­ping her for run­ning a she­been and tripe shop from their stoep. “i don’t think at this point, after the slap, that she’s think­ing clearly,” says mar­jorie. “even when peo­ple around her see her sit­u­a­tion and make her aware and also of­fer to help, she sees it as though they want to cause prob­lems for her in her mar­riage.” and it looks like obak­eng isn’t go­ing to stop ei­ther. “he feels bad after hit­ting glo­ria, but he can’t say it openly to her as he feels that she needed to be rep­ri­manded even though he said sorry and prom­ises not to do it again. he is more para­noid and very self­ish and not even think­ing straight,” peter ex­plains.

putting out a light

un­op­posed, obak­eng’s abuse es­ca­lates. peter re­veals that his character does ma­nip­u­la­tive things like telling glo­ria to drop her old friends like ndu­miso (andile sit­hole) and malet­satsi (joyce skefu) on fri­day 12 de­cem­ber. “he’s un­happy with glo­ria’s idea of tripe nights be­cause other men might de­sire her. things like call­ing her names – that’s very wrong and abu­sive.” he adds that obak­eng treats glo­ria like a child on wed­nes­day 17 de­cem­ber and tells her, “stop what you are do­ing and go to bed.” the re­sult is a sad­der, smaller glo­ria. “it re­ally puts a damper on her spirit and her larg­erthan-life per­son­al­ity,” says mar­jorie. “her be­hav­iour changes her per­son­al­ity from the bub­bly glo­ria to a sub­dued one, with low self-es­teem, es­pe­cially around obak­eng.”

this can’t go on

and then it gets worse! glo­ria calls the cops after obak­eng hits her again on fri­day 19 de­cem­ber. “a wake-up call is when the cops come (on mon­day 22 de­cem­ber) and obak­eng re­alises just how close it was for him to be ar­rested,” says peter. but he doesn’t know how to stop any more than glo­ria does. there is still a long way for this cou­ple to fall. how far will it go? we’ll find out from tues­day 23 de­cem­ber, when glo­ria starts re­search­ing what hap­pened to the pre­vi­ous mrs ran­gaka…

too close to home

in real life, abuse has taken its toll per­son­ally, for both mar­jorie and peter. peter ended a friend­ship be­cause of abuse. “it didn’t sit well with me. it made me so angry that i ended my friend­ship with that friend,” he says. it was even more in­ti­mate for mar­jorie. it was, she says, “mainly emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal. at some point i lost a bit of my­self in the sit­u­a­tion, be­cause it was done by some­one very sig­nif­i­cant in my life whom i trusted. i was bor­der­line de­pressed and what ul­ti­mately made me take my­self out of the sit­u­a­tion was when it shifted to phys­i­cal [abuse] as i had a son to think about”. the soap’s pro­ducer ilse van he­mert was es­pe­cially care­ful when brief­ing peter on his dif­fi­cult sto­ry­line, say­ing, “we dis­cussed that some peo­ple may even con­fuse obak­eng with peter and at­tack him per­son­ally for what his character is do­ing to glo­ria, es­pe­cially since peter is such a con­vinc­ing ac­tor.” so guys, don’t slap peter, please!

glo­ria never thought she’d be in this po­si­tion,

as an abused wife.

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